Anyone watching the stock market in the past few days knows what a volatile place the financial world is these days. The same is true in politics and world events. In less than a year, a crisis in Turkey has sent shock waves through the entire European Union, and analysts expect a bigger “storm” to come.
It is pretty clear that humanity’s faith in financial, political, and international leaders is being challenged — and rightly so. Frankly, these people, nations, and practices have always been fallible because they have been human at their core. They are as susceptible to the influences of sin as we are ourselves.
In the midst of this turmoil, a friend of mine has just announced a miraculous event — the birth of his daughter. He shared his joy with me, and sent along pictures of the beautiful girl he and his wife named “Maia.” He pointed out that the name, unbeknownst to him when it was chosen, means “close to God” in Hebrew.
Considering the condition of the world, I smiled at the irony of that. Given how traumatic, dangerous, and unpredictable the world is these days, this newborn child reminds us that we should all remain very “close to God.” Because we are designed by God (unlike the fallible things we create), our closeness to God offers us a unique opportunity to find shelter in this broken world and to be enveloped in his perfection, purpose, and peace.
As a Catholic charity, we believe it is important to carry this belief into the mission field too. We approach the poor with the knowledge that they can find refuge from their plight by drawing closer to God. We share this important truth with them, and we work with priests and nuns overseas to play a role in that ministry too.
This world will never be perfect while sinful humans taint its economy, politics and culture, but we can thank God that all is not lost as long as our Lord stands ready to empower and guide us. That is as true for baby Maia as it is for you, me, and those we minister to overseas. As our Lord expressed it in Matthew 7:24:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”
May we all remember this powerful promise as the man-made storms rage overhead!